Organization structure

New York appeals judge denies Trump Organization’s request to block monitor

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump’s company cannot avoid independent watchdog scrutiny as it appeals a court’s decision to require an outside watchdog, a court judge said on Wednesday. calling from New York.

Angela Mazzarelli, an associate judge on the state’s mid-level appeals court, denied the Trump Organization’s request for a stay — a legal mechanism that would have halted the monitoring requirement while it pursues an appeal.

Mazzarelli said a full panel of appellate judges will address the issue at a Nov. 28 hearing.

In the meantime, Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron is free to appoint a monitor and put that person to work keeping tabs on Trump’s vast real estate empire, limiting the company’s ability to freely enter into deals, sell assets and change its corporate structure. Engoron said he could select a monitor as early as next week.

Lawyers for the Trump Organization filed documents Monday challenging Engoron’s decision last week to appoint an independent monitor to oversee the company’s business dealings – oversight sought by the New York attorney general’s office as he was suing Trump and his company for fraud.

Lawyers for the Trump Organization argue that Engoron overstepped its bounds and that its decision to appoint a monitor for the duration of Attorney General Letitia James’ civil case placed “an immediate and unlawful pretrial restraint” on what they said to be nearly $5 billion in assets.

Messages seeking comment were left for company attorneys.

Engoron set a deadline Thursday for attorneys in James’s office and the Trump Organization to each submit a list of up to three monitor candidates. After that, Engoron said, the parties will have five days to comment on the other side’s nominees before he makes his choice.

Mazzarelli issued her decision after an emergency hearing on Wednesday where she heard arguments from attorneys for the company and James’ office.

James’s lawsuit, the result of a three-year investigation, alleges that Trump and the Trump Organization misled banks and others about the value of valuable assets, including golf courses and hotels bearing his name. .

James, a Democrat, is asking for $250 million and a permanent ban on Trump, a Republican, from doing business in the state.

James’ office sought an independent monitor after it said it found evidence that the company was taking steps to dodge potential lawsuit penalties, such as incorporating a new entity with the same name – Trump Organization LLC – into September, just before the trial. filed.

Engoron prohibited the Trump Organization from selling or transferring non-cash assets without giving the court and James’ office 14 days notice. The monitor to be appointed will be responsible for ensuring company compliance and will immediately report any violations to the court and to attorneys for both parties.

The Trump Organization must also grant the Monitor access to its financial statements, asset valuations and other information, must provide a full and accurate description of the corporate structure, and must give the Monitor notice at least 30 days of any potential restructuring, refinancing or sale of assets. , said Engoron.

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